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Web Development Briefs: dot.com frauch, ACCC, Angel Investors

Web Development Briefs: dot.com frauch, ACCC, Angel Investors

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Recent survey reveals dot.com fraud concernsA survey of the management and staff at online businesses in the US suggests dot-coms are taking increasing caution when transacting over the Web for fear of Internet fraud. The survey, conducted by Mindwave research and commissioned by e-commerce service provider CyberSource, revealed the management of online businesses are starting to better understand the risks involved and are taking the necessary steps to minimise the impact of online fraud over the coming Christmas season.

The respondents' greatest concern was a loss of customer goodwill for all merchants selling online. The survey also indicated over 60 per cent of respondents were investing in the improvement of fraud detection to cope with an expected 34 per cent increase in online sales over the next few months.

ACCC roasts Net cafe

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is taking action against an Internet cafe business which attempted to fix prices for Internet access. The ACCC will take Trevor Davis International and Mans David Holdings to the Federal Court in Melbourne for a directions hearing in December, after allegations arose of an attempted price fixing. The ACCC alleges Trevor Davis wrote to a nearby rival Internet cafe, on behalf of Idle Gossip Internet Services, requesting it to agree upon a minimum hourly rate of $5 for Internet access. The letter also allegedly indicates Idle Gossip would be prepared to compete aggressively on price if the rival did not agree to the price fixing.

"Agreements, arrangements or understandings on price between competitors are prohibited by the Trade Practices Act 1974 and the ACCC views attempts at price fixing as extremely serious," the ACCC said in a statement. "Companies may be penalised up to $10 million per offence and individuals up to $500,000."

Calling all Angels

An event in Melbourne has highlighted the need for "Angel Investors" to fund and transform innovative developers into entrepreneurs. Attracting such speakers as Larry Lopez, managing director of international alliances for Silicon Valley Bank, and Peter Lewis, Australia's Senior Trade Commissioner in San Francisco, the event was staged to encourage the concept of "Angel Investment", whereby investors provide both funding and management advice while a startup grows.

The event also featured a presentation by Darren Williams, founder of Active Concepts, a startup acquired by US vendor Quest Software. Williams said the angel investors that put money into Active Concepts in 1997 were rewarded with a 6000 per cent return when the company was acquired.


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